Saturday, April 6, 2019

Article in "Your Country Neighbor" in April

Come Walk With Me 
by Janet Sobczyk, 2019

After months of trying unsuccessfully to hibernate, I was lured outside by spring. Two days of cold, driving rain had conquered huge drifts of snow. Now uncovered, the earth could breathe again. Warm sunshine and intermittent breezes soothed the winter strain from the landscape and my face.

Birdsong drew my eyes to bare branches, but I couldn’t locate the source of their cheerful twittering. Just as well. A stumble on cracked sidewalk reminded me to watch my feet. They instinctively tiptoed through clear, shallow pools beside leftover shimmering ice. They avoided muddy puddles entirely. Most of the pavement was dry, though, strewn with sand and stray brittle leaves along the curbs.

The sunshine beckoned to others, too. A long stream of helmet-capped cousins cycled by. A few smiled at me. One dared to wave and then quickly re-grasped the handlebar.

A young lady, pony-tailed and trim in black yoga pants walked her color-coordinated lab briskly. On the opposite side of the street an older lady in rain  boots shuffled slowly down the walk. Her two dogs of greatly different sizes kept a practiced pace with her, stopping to wait when she needed to rest.

An elderly neighbor patrolled his yard for fallen sticks. He veered off course to check the mailbox. He examined each envelope and headed back inside, leaving the twigs forgotten in a pile on the brown lawn.

A young boy with three Huskies ran past, panting as hard as the dogs. The echo of a bouncing basketball wafted from a school playground. A couple in matching running pants with a white stripe down all four legs ambled past, hands in pockets, strides in sync, in deep conversation.

A brown squirrel ran across a pine branch, leaped for a maple branch just a tad too far away. It was saved from a 15-foot drop by one claw. It dangled for a moment, then pulled itself onto the branch and scrambled headfirst down the trunk.

Very few cars drove past. It seemed everyone preferred to be out enjoying this first glimpse of spring. Low-hanging cotton clouds in the distance served as a reminder that more spring rain will come. But for today, at least, the perfect blue sky soothed away the stress.

See the April issue of "Your Country Neighbor".

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